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New London man to serve 62 months for role in overdose deaths

December 13, 2017 GMT

A 30 year-old New London man who sold heroin that contributed to two overdose deaths within days of each other in May 2016 was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 62 months in prison.

Nestor “Beans” Santana had pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of heroin.

His case is connected to that of Ramon “BI” Gomez, 41, who was sentenced Tuesday to 96 months in federal prison for sex trafficking of a minor and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

According to the government, Santana provided Gomez with the heroin that he sold to Adele Bouthillier, a heroin addict and prostitute staying at the Flagship Motel in Groton. Gomez, acting as a pimp, had asked Bouthillier to set up 17-year-old Olivia Roark of Griswold as a prostitute. Bouthillier created an ad for the teen on backpage.com and ingested the heroin with her at the motel on May 28, 2016. The teen died of an overdose from heroin and fentanyl in the early morning hours of May 29, 2016.

Gomez told the government that Santana had also provided the heroin that contributed to the death of 34-year-old Heather Hart of Montville, according to court documents. On May 31, 2016, members of the Montville Police Department responded to an apartment on Route 32 for an untimely death investigation.Upon arrival, officers found Hart lying face down on the bathroom floor. Hart died from acute ethanol and fentanyl toxicity, according to the government.

Gomez said he obtained heroin from Santana and provided it to James Butler. Butler told authorities he and Hart would sometimes pool their money to buy heroin and that he had been purchasing heroin from Gomez on a daily basis.

In August and September 2016, investigators made controlled purchases of heroin from Santana. He was arrested on state charges on Sept. 29, 2016. According to the government, a search of his residence at the time of his arrest revealed an additional quantity of heroin and items used to process and package narcotics. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Jan. 31, 2017.

Santana was sentenced by Judge Alwin W. Thompson and will serve four years of supervised release upon completion of his prison stint.

Bouthillier pleaded guilty to a heroin distribution charge and was sentenced in October to 43 months in prison.

Butler also pleaded guilty to a heroin distribution offense and awaits sentencing.